This role could be called an HR Consultant or an HR Business Partner in different organisations. Individuals in this role will use their HR expertise to provide and lead the delivery of HR solutions to business challenges, together with tailored advice to the business in a number of HR areas, typically to mid-level and senior managers. They could be in a generalist role, where they provide support across a range of HR areas – likely to be the Core HR option; or a specialist role, where they focus on and have in depth expertise in a specific area of HR – likely to be Resourcing, Total Reward, Organisation Development, or HR Operations. Whichever of these is chosen, they will have a good grounding across the whole range of HR disciplines as this is contained in both of the qualification options included in this standard. They will often be required to make decisions and recommendations on what the business can/should do in a specific situation. They will be influencing managers to change their thinking as well as bringing best practice into the organisation. They are also likely to lead the people related elements of business or HR projects. Whatever their role, they will need to link the work they do to the context and priorities of the business. In a larger organisation they may be one of a team supporting the business and they may also have responsibility for managing people.
Requirements: Core Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours
HR Technical expertise – Good understanding across all HR disciplines, HR legislation and an excellent working knowledge of the organisation’s HR policies and procedures. Sound understanding of HR in their sector and any unique features. Up to date with best practice and emerging thinking – able to use this in their dealings with the business.
Business understanding – Understands what the organisation does, the external market and sector it operates in, its challenges and issues. Understands business and HR KPIs and metrics, building a clear picture of how the business is performing. Understands the impact of this on their role.
HR function – Understands the structure and responsibilities of the HR function, policies and processes, and where to source HR specialist expertise.
MI and Technology – Understands HR systems and where to find HR and management data, both internally and externally, including benchmarking. Knows how technology, including social media, is impacting the business and HR.
HR Consultancy – Develops and delivers HR solutions to the business that are appropriate to the organisational context. Influences leaders and managers to adopt appropriate solutions. Provides tailored HR services to the business as required by their role e.g. Performance Management, Resourcing, Development, Talent, Reward. Contributes to the development of relevant HR policies & procedures and/or HR initiatives.
Providing support and advice – Tailors business-centred advice on the interpretation and application of HR policies and processes. Makes sound judgments based on business need, ensuring the business operates within the boundaries of employment law. Deals with escalated people issues and works with the business to resolve them.
Contributing to Business change – Leads the HR contribution to business projects and change programmes to support positive behavioural, business or organisational change.
Building HR capability – Leads the improvement of people capability within the business or own team. Advises and coaches managers to deal successfully with people issues from a generalist or specialist perspective, incorporating best practice where appropriate.
HR Information Analysis – Researches, analyses and presents HR / business data (both internal and external) to provide insight, support solutions to business issues and track performance.
Personal Development – Keeps up to date with business changes and HR legal/policy/process changes relevant to their role. Seeks feedback and acts on it to improve their performance and overall capability. Plans their own development; shows commitment to the job and the profession
Relationship management – Builds effective working relationships with business managers (using the language of the business), peers and other HR functions, together with relevant external organisations. Communicates confidently with people at all levels, including senior management.
Flexibility – Adapts positively to changing work priorities and patterns, ensuring key business and HR deadlines continue to be met. Curious about HR/business trends and developments, incorporating them into their work.
Resilience – Displays tenacity and proactivity in the way they go about their role, dealing positively with setbacks when they occur. Stays positive under pressure.
Option – HR Specialisms (The apprentice will select one of the following options)
Knowledge (HR Technical Expertise)
Core HR – Excellent working knowledge of the principles and practices in at least one of Employee Relations, Performance Management, Employee Engagement and their application in delivering HR solutions to business challenges.
Resourcing – Excellent working knowledge of the principles and practices of resourcing, covering the complete process, from attraction to induction, including the use of social media and their application in delivering HR solutions to business challenges.
Total Reward – Excellent working knowledge of the principles and practices of reward, compensation and benefits and their application to all levels of the organisation.
Organisation Development – Excellent working knowledge of the principles and practices in one of* Organisation Development, Learning & Development, Talent Management and their application in delivering HR solutions to business challenges.
HR Operations – Excellent working knowledge of the principles and practices of running HR Operations, including a service centre, technology and HR data/analytics to provide services required by the business.
The length of this apprenticeship should typically be 2-3 years, but could be closer to 18 months if the apprentice has previously completed the Level 3 apprenticeship.
The apprentice will complete an appropriate qualification (as considered most relevant by the employer), within which they will be able to focus on their chosen option, from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development:
CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Certificate in Human Resource Management
CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Diploma in Human Resource Management
Apprentices without Level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level prior to completion of their Apprenticeship
Link to professional registration and progression
Successful completion of this standard enables the apprentice to apply to become an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Chartered membership can be achieved through further qualifications or experience based assessment.
This apprenticeship could be an entry level role to the business, however, it is more likely to be a progression from a lower level role or apprenticeship, building on the knowledge and skills gained in that role or apprenticeship. On completion of this apprenticeship, the individual will be fully competent in the role and this will give them an in depth knowledge of HR in their chosen option. They can then continue to develop in that option (perhaps through a further apprenticeship), or broaden their HR expertise in another area to develop their career. Separately, there are a range of qualifications available for further study up to post graduate level.